In hindsight, I was all worked up over nothing. But at the time, I was so stressed I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I ate too much. Then I didn’t eat enough. I slept too much. Then I didn’t sleep enough. I practiced like crazy. Then I quit practicing and diverted my attention to something else. No matter what I did, it didn’t work.
I was all out of whack because my senior college trumpet recital was coming up. I wanted it to be great and was worried that I couldn’t make it happen. So despite having my chops in great shape and my practice routine down to a science, I was headed toward disaster because my mind was wrecked worse than a freshman at their first college party.
I needed to call timeout and slow my mind down. So, even though it was February, my girlfriend and I packed some warm clothes and headed to Rehoboth Beach for the weekend. The beach always represents a good mix of excitement and calm for me. It gives me whichever of those I need at the time. That time I needed all calm, and that’s what I got. I also got to experience the beach’s wintertime alter-ego and I loved it!
Several good things happened from that trip. One was that I got my head together and realized that playing music is not a life or death situation. My life did not depend on how well I performed at one recital. Another was that my girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I discovered how beneficial it is to take some time to chill out and do nothing. The beach town was peaceful, beautiful and perfectly slow-paced in mid February.
That winter beach weekend helped my recital to turn out really well. It also helped us establish a family tradition of spending a long weekend at the beach each winter. We look forward to it all year and sometimes prefer it to the craziness of summertime visits. Those first trips were just my wife and I, then came many great trips with the kids. Today starts this year's annual winter trip, and for the second year in a row, it’s just the two of us again. Just like college except for those 30 years in between.
So no gigs this weekend, no social media music posts, no practicing, no contacting clients. Instead we’ll read, sleep late, eat pizza, watch the Super Bowl, take a hike, and be reminded that life in the slow lane can be healthy and good!